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Thread: Should the 1911 grip safety have worked the "opposite" way?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssc View Post
    This is an issue that I have strong opinions. The grip safety, in my opinion, is an archaic, ludicrous, ridiculous clusterf--k. The original JMB design did not have the GS. It was developed due to a Govt request. I carried a 1911 back in the late 80's to early 90's. I shortened the GS leg to disable it. There was a reason so many of the old timers, who carried the 1911, tied a piece of rawhide etc around the grip. My Pops and many of my relatives were LEO in the midwest from the 20's to the 60's and they told some interesting stories about this issue. Just last night I was discussing this issue with some of my shooting buddies. One still works at the range for a large metropolitan PD.

    He related that a PO, who carried a 1911 and was squared away--meaning he spent a lot of range time practicing with his 1911, got into a situation where a dirtbag needed to be shot. He drew his weapon and couldn't discharge the gun. He didn't activate the GS. There are numerous documented OIS where an officer drew a 1911 and failed to get it to fire based on failure to remove the thumb or disengage the GS.

    With that said, I competed in IPSC, Steel Challenge and other shooting sports for 25 plus years. There was a reason we pinned our grip safeties. I have witnessed many times where someone could not fire their gun due to the GS. I have a hard time always disengaging the GS. I have a high grip that actually pushed on the underside of the beavertail/top of the GS and my grip doesn't work in a fashion to always release the GS. I am well aware of how to modify a GS so it takes very little pressure/movement to work and even with the memory bumps, I regularly don't get the GS to release. Every staccato I have shot, I have the same problem.

    When the SHTF, stress and adrenaline does strange things to a person. I was informed of things from many of my relatives who had been there done that. I never appreciated what they said until my first "encounter." In the real world, you may be carrying something that you can't drop--your baby boy etc, and thinking you will always get the perfect grip is a bad plan. Just because it has never been an issue on a range, the real world is a cruel teacher.

    If I was King, I would have all 1911's created without the GS. With that said, my favorite handgun is the 1911. It is like a classic car. I have many 1911's and most are full custom builds. However, I would not chose to have a classic car as my daily driver nor carry a 1911 as my CCW. These are just my opinions based on my personal experience, stories from people who I trust, incidents that have been vetted, carrying a 1911 and competing with 1911's. I have well over 100,000 rounds downrange with 1911's and have witnessed millions (no exaggeration) of rounds discharged by 1911's. I will get off the soapbox. Again YMMV. I am just another guy on the internet with an opinion and not looking to argue.

    Cheers, Steve
    Thanks!

    Your response would have a place in discussions about defensive pistol optics, too.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssc View Post
    This is an issue that I have strong opinions. The grip safety, in my opinion, is an archaic, ludicrous, ridiculous clusterf--k. The original JMB design did not have the GS. It was developed due to a Govt request. I carried a 1911 back in the late 80's to early 90's. I shortened the GS leg to disable it. There was a reason so many of the old timers, who carried the 1911, tied a piece of rawhide etc around the grip. My Pops and many of my relatives were LEO in the midwest from the 20's to the 60's and they told some interesting stories about this issue. Just last night I was discussing this issue with some of my shooting buddies. One still works at the range for a large metropolitan PD.

    He related that a PO, who carried a 1911 and was squared away--meaning he spent a lot of range time practicing with his 1911, got into a situation where a dirtbag needed to be shot. He drew his weapon and couldn't discharge the gun. He didn't activate the GS. There are numerous documented OIS where an officer drew a 1911 and failed to get it to fire based on failure to remove the thumb or disengage the GS.

    With that said, I competed in IPSC, Steel Challenge and other shooting sports for 25 plus years. There was a reason we pinned our grip safeties. I have witnessed many times where someone could not fire their gun due to the GS. I have a hard time always disengaging the GS. I have a high grip that actually pushed on the underside of the beavertail/top of the GS and my grip doesn't work in a fashion to always release the GS. I am well aware of how to modify a GS so it takes very little pressure/movement to work and even with the memory bumps, I regularly don't get the GS to release. Every staccato I have shot, I have the same problem.

    When the SHTF, stress and adrenaline does strange things to a person. I was informed of things from many of my relatives who had been there done that. I never appreciated what they said until my first "encounter." In the real world, you may be carrying something that you can't drop--your baby boy etc, and thinking you will always get the perfect grip is a bad plan. Just because it has never been an issue on a range, the real world is a cruel teacher.

    If I was King, I would have all 1911's created without the GS. With that said, my favorite handgun is the 1911. It is like a classic car. I have many 1911's and most are full custom builds. However, I would not chose to have a classic car as my daily driver nor carry a 1911 as my CCW. These are just my opinions based on my personal experience, stories from people who I trust, incidents that have been vetted, carrying a 1911 and competing with 1911's. I have well over 100,000 rounds downrange with 1911's and have witnessed millions (no exaggeration) of rounds discharged by 1911's. I will get off the soapbox. Again YMMV. I am just another guy on the internet with an opinion and not looking to argue.

    Cheers, Steve
    I totally agree. I too love 1911's, but the grip safety is NOT NEEDED !!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by G woody View Post
    I totally agree. I too love 1911's, but the grip safety is NOT NEEDED !!
    If you go to the Texas Ranger Museum you'll find a 1911 with the grip safety tide shut with a leather thong.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Averageman View Post
    If you go to the Texas Ranger Museum you'll find a 1911 with the grip safety tide shut with a leather thong.
    I remember reading that somewhere. Those old Ranger's were as "serious as a heart attack".

  5. #15
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    I believe the grip safety was asked for so that if someone dropped their pistol from horseback, and the pistol landed muzzle up, the weight and inertia of the steel trigger wouldn’t fire the weapon possibly shooting the one who dropped it (or his horse) or adjacent cavalry. With a proper grip, I think the grip safety is a non-issue. Also, my 1911s don’t have a firing pin block, so the grip safety has some value.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushca01 View Post
    Since it was an after though that the army requested as Browning didn’t think it was necessary you’re probably right. With that said, you can adjust the trigger bar block on the grip safety so that it disengages with less pressure. Hilton Yam recommends disengagement half way through the grip safety travel.
    Reply deleted
    Last edited by P2Vaircrewman; 12-01-22 at 13:56. Reason: Deleted

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colt Carson View Post
    I believe the grip safety was asked for so that if someone dropped their pistol from horseback, and the pistol landed muzzle up, the weight and inertia of the steel trigger wouldn’t fire the weapon possibly shooting the one who dropped it (or his horse) or adjacent cavalry. With a proper grip, I think the grip safety is a non-issue. Also, my 1911s don’t have a firing pin block, so the grip safety has some value.

    Actually this is very incorrect.

    Grip safety was a JMB feature from the very earliest designs dating to the 1890’s. It was the THUMB safety added at the request of the cavalry
    Several pages in the classic clawson big book are dedicated to this information regarding early 1900’s pistol trials

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAVDOC View Post
    Actually this is very incorrect.

    Grip safety was a JMB feature from the very earliest designs dating to the 1890’s. It was the THUMB safety added at the request of the cavalry
    Several pages in the classic clawson big book are dedicated to this information regarding early 1900’s pistol trials
    So you believe my post to be VERY incorrect? I wasn’t there in the early 1900s, and I don’t know why I waste my time on people like you… but I checked several online sources and two books by two different authors I have, and they all substantiated my statements. The thumb and grip safety were called for by the U.S. Military after their field trials. I won’t play the part of a fool arguing with you, so go get your negative attention fix elsewhere.

  9. #19
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    I have never tried to fire my 1911's and not fired due to the grip safety not being engaged. I guess it could happen and an interesting topic as is all topics 1911 to me. Interesting feedback fellas.

    PB
    "Air Force / Policeman / Fireman / Man of God / Friend of mine / R.I.P. Steve Lamy"

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pappabear View Post
    I have never tried to fire my 1911's and not fired due to the grip safety not being engaged. I guess it could happen and an interesting topic as is all topics 1911 to me. Interesting feedback fellas.

    PB
    On one of his videos, Larry Vickers recommended that the grip safety should disengage the trigger bar at 50% of the grip safety's travel. I have a new Ed Brown 1911 I purchased earlier this year, that requires the grip safety to be almost completely depressed before it releases the trigger. Luckily with my grip, it’s not an issue.

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